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Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009)

Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009)


Starring the voices of

George Clooney

Meryl Streep

Jason Schwartzman

Bill Murray

Owen Wilson

Directed by Wes Anderson

I guess I am one of the few who did not get to see Fantastic Mr. Fox in 2009. I knew of its popularity as a nice stop motion animation, but always seem to never get to see it. Seeing it now I can see why many liked it. Other than being true to the adaptation it is based, the animation added more scenes to the main plot to give the movie a new beginning and a fleshed out ending. Also there is an upgrade done to the dialogue to cater for mature viewers. In addition, there were some backstory added, or some characters having their own side story or given more to do in this movie.

If you have read the 1970 Roald Dahl’s children book Fantastic Mr. Fox you can tell in this film where the book’s original plot starts and ends.

The story of Mr. Fox starts with a promise to be a better person, then it takes us to him falling back to his old ways. He steals from the three main farmers in his area Boggis (a chicken farmer), Bunce (a duck and goose farmer) and Bean (a turkey and apple farmer). The farmers were not having it and decided to catch Fox. They followed him to his home and shoot at it, then when they see he has escaped they dug it out, hell bent on catching him.

Fox now trapped does not allow the situation to get him down, and he too gets back at the trio and from then on we get to watch the two parties trying to get one over the other.

Wes Anderson (the director and co-writer of the screenplay) decided to add some scenes before the book main plot start. Those scenes focused on the relationship between Mr. Fox (George Clooney) and Mrs. Fox (Meryl Streep), plus how they got to be living in the tree.

Where the book ends is not where the movie ends, because we do get to the final scene of the book, but Anderson decided to flesh it out a lot more (than he did in the beginning of the film). We still get the same ending of the farmers waiting to catch Mr. Fox, but the movie made them meaner and smarter.

What I really enjoyed in the movie is the way Anderson made Fox appeal to me the viewer. I enjoyed seeing him struggle, thinking on his feet and always never allowing his circumstance to overwhelm him.

Although the movie was a critical success it was not a financial one. The movie also had a bad run at the Academy Awards, it was nominated for Best Animated Feature and Best Original Score, but lost both to Disney's Up.


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